Haligonians deliver for Uber Eats driver looking for face masks

A Uber Eats driver in Halifax is giving his heartfelt thanks for the dozens of offers he received from people willing to make him free face masks for his job, after he made an online post asking where he could buy masks.

Talha Lakhani became a first-time father to a little boy two weeks ago, so health and safety is top of mind. He’s looking to protect himself and others from COVID-19 while out on deliveries.

Lakhani said he wasn’t expecting much from the post he made last week to Reddit.

At first, Lakhani got a few suggestions on where to find masks and which ones worked best.

But then, people started offering to make masks for him and leaving them in spots where he could safely pick them up.

Lakhani says he picked up about eight washable masks from kind Redditors. (Submitted by Talha Lakhani)

“This has left me dumbfounded. I was extremely impressed, I was really happy,” he said.

“It showed me what a real community looks like and how people come together to help each other out in times in need.”

Lakhani picked up about eight washable masks.

When he made a second post to thank everyone for their kind gestures, he said he started receiving even more messages.

“A few more people reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, I think I missed your original post and I would also like to hook you up with some masks.’ But by then, I think eight masks is more than enough,” he said.

“People have been extremely kind.”

That kindness hasn’t just been online. He said while delivering for Uber Eats, both customers and restaurant staff have been “extra nice these days.”

He said people are extremely understanding and willing to keep their distance.

Lakhani said many restaurants have now set up a desk at the entrance where they pick up orders to minimize contact. He said they’re also going out of their way to offer drivers things like free drinks and snacks.

Changes in protocol

Lakhani has been driving for Uber Eats for about six months. His full-time job has been suspended during the pandemic, so he decided to pick up more deliveries to make some extra money.

He said Uber Eats has changed its rules in the pandemic, asking drivers to wash their hands often, leave deliveries at the door and encouraging businesses to put food in sealed packages.

A statement from Uber Eats is unclear as to whether more restaurants in Halifax and Canada have signed up for the service during the pandemic.

More orders

Lakhani said he’s noticed an increase in orders.

“A lot of people are stuck at home, they don’t really feel like cooking,” he said.

Lakhani’s also seen a change in what people are ordering.

“Normally, 50 per cent of my deliveries are from McDonald’s. Right now, I’m seeing people order from a lot of local restaurants, health-based businesses and healthier foods,” he said.

Lakhani said people have been tipping more — and more frequently. The kindness he’s seen from people has inspired him to pay it forward.

“I have henceforth also pledged myself to go out of my way in the future and help someone else out as well,” he said.


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